#ThugsOfHindostan: Theater owners demand refund after movie tanks at box-office
'Thugs of Hindostan', the much-hyped mega-budget movie with a stellar cast including Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan, and Katrina Kaif released on November 8. Despite the initial strong start, it performed terribly at the box office due to negative word-of-mouth. As a result of its inability to make a profit, exhibitors are reportedly asking for a refund from the filmmakers. Here's what they are demanding.
Based on the 1839 novel 'Confessions of a Thug' by Philip Meadows Taylor, the film narrates the story of an Indian gang posing a threat to the British Empire in the 19th century. The film was made on a budget of approximately Rs. 300 crore.
Intended to be a big Diwali release, the film opened across 5,000 screens in India, making it the widest opening for Bollywood films. It also became the biggest Bollywood opener, earning Rs. 52.25 crore, becoming the first film to cross Rs. 50 crore on day one. However, after negative reviews from critics, it barely made Rs. 145 crore in 11 days of theatrical run.
Due to the aforementioned loss in the box-office, theater owners are apparently facing a 50% loss on their investment in the movie and have thus decided to demand a refund. According to producers Yash Raj Films' policy, the studio took on distribution responsibilities. Exhibitors agreed on a minimum-guarantee deal expecting rich profits on the big-budget film, but tables turned due to negative reviews.
An anonymous exhibitor said, "So, we are planning to approach the sub-distributors [YRF] to get a refund. We hope YRF, Aamir Khan and Amitabh Bachchan will help us in this situation, else there is a possibility of a few theatres having to even shut down".
While YRF is not legally bound to compensate them, being a reputed producer, they might make a decision favoring exhibitors on moral grounds. A decision will be reached when studio officials assess the situation in a meeting with the exhibitors this week. Thankfully, there is a precedent of superstars compensating exhibitors after their films tanked, so YRF will presumably take the same route.
Among stars who compensated exhibitors is Shah Rukh Khan after 'Dilwale' and 'Jab Harry Met Sejal' tanked, Salman Khan after 'Tubelight' performed terribly and Rajinikanth after 'Lingaa' failed to make a profit at the box office.